Harley goes 165mph at Lake Gairdner

A 2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special set an Australian land speed record which may also make it, unofficially, the world’s fastest bagger under 2000cc*.

The feat was achieved during the 25th annual Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) Speed Week, held on the salt flats of Lake Gairdner in South Australia which coincided with the machine’s first official competitive outing.

Racing in the 2000cc Modified Partial Streamlined – Push Rod Gas (MPS-PG) class and piloted by modified bike drag racer, Corey Buttigieg the bike clocked 165.131mph (265.753 kph) on the salt flats, storming into the Australian record books – claiming its own piece of history as Australia’s first and fastest bagger in the class and the unofficial title of world’s fastest, naturally aspirated bagger under 2000cc. Buttigieg also came close to the world record for the 2000cc MPS-PG class, 171.962mph set on the flats of Bonneville, USA back in 1996.

The result is the culmination of almost 12 months of design and engineering work for the team including Harley-Davidson Australia & New Zealand Technical Lead, Dan Lesnock and Buttigieg. The pair has taken the Road Glide Special from a stock bike to a record holding racer with the additions of H-D Screamin’ Eagle performance parts forming the basis of the engine and driveline modifications while the chassis was only slightly modified for racing. The modifications meant that the bike’s soul as a bagger was retained with even the saddlebags remaining functional.

2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special, named Pepper to challenge the Modified Partial Streamlined – Push Rod Fuel (MPS-PF) class at Lake Gairdner Speed Week
2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special, named Pepper

Pepper’s engineering includes:

  • Screamin’ Eagle 120RX engine
  • Screamin’ Eagle Variable Pressure Clutch
  • PBI sprocket with RK Chain
  • Custom Wegner stainless steel headers
  • 4-inch lengthened swingarm
  • Custom built lower engine fairings
  • OE front fairing lowered slightly on frame
  • Functional saddlebags with in-built air diffusers
2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special, named Pepper to challenge the Modified Partial Streamlined – Push Rod Fuel (MPS-PF) class at Lake Gairdner Speed Week
2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special

David Turney, Advertising & PR Manager for Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand said, “This is a fantastic achievement for all the guys, especially considering this is its first official event and on a very unfamiliar surface. They’ve worked tirelessly.  Even up to the night before we hit the salt they were burning the candle at both ends to make sure we were as prepared as we could be.

“We’ve achieved significant goals. We’ve used one of our Touring models as the base platform and taken it to a place where many wouldn’t have thought it could go. It’s been a wonderful exercise demonstrating what a good bit of customisation and visionary design can do – especially with Screamin’ Eagle performance parts. That’s really the best bit – the record is a sizable cherry on top.”

Turney added, “We are very excited about the potential of this bike moving forward, we won’t be stopping here. Dan and Corey have done a wonderful job but I know that they want more.”

The 2015 Dry Lakes Racers Australia Speed Week was held at Lake Gairdner in South Australia – the fourth largest Salt Lake in Australia – from Monday 23 – Friday 27 March.

*Naturally aspirated baggers that are 2000cc and under are not currently classed. At the time of writing the record for the world’s fastest bagger is held by Chris Rivas and falls within the 3000cc APS-PG class, meaning the engine must measure between 2001cc and 3000cc and can feature an aftermarket chassis.

2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special, named Pepper to challenge the Modified Partial Streamlined – Push Rod Fuel (MPS-PF) class at Lake Gairdner Speed Week
2015 Harley-Davidson FLTRXS Road Glide Special